Monday, June 2, 2008

State of the Blog

I've been writing this blog for 1 year and 1 month. In that time I have put up 64 posts, that's 4.9 posts per month on average. I've had 76 comments (including my own), that's 1.2 comments per post on average. Feedburner believes there are between 14 and 19 people who subscribe to this blog day to day. Google Analytics indicates that this blog gets anywhere from 8 (on weekends) to 52 Visits a day. The vast majority of those visits are brought in from Google searches.

I find these numbers interesting, but mostly irrelevant. I don't really care what those numbers look like. I'm primarily motived by these three objectives:
  1. To challenge myself to keep tackling new problems and learning new things and evaluating the things I have done
  2. To get in touch with people outside my little company who have different viewpoints and different experiences
  3. To keep an archive so I can lookup things I've figured out or thought about in the past or so I can refer other people to them
That said, its good to have goals and its good to evaluate what you're doing (which is the point of this blog after all). Even though this is cheesy and goes against what I usually try to do here, I thought it might be worth a shot: So I want to solicit some feedback and ask a few questions.

I have one person who posts here regularly (thanks Josh!). Frequently he just says "duh" or "I've seen it slightly different" but I love that. It tells me other people have been through it. I'm not looking for expert comments, after all, I'm no expert. But I would really love to hear more of what people think, even if its just a gut reaction.
1. What can I do to draw more comments?

I write about things I'm interested in or working on. That's why the topics range so widely and randomly. I also try to write when I'm confident that I've come to a resolution. That's why what I write is less like a blog and more like little essays or articles. I also write as if what I'm saying is true, even when I know I could be wrong or when I haven't had a chance to exercise the ideas much. I find second guessing and apologizing in writing to be really irritating and I assume you'll do the second guessing on your own as you read.
2. Should I change anything about the topics or style?

I write when I have something to say. I shoot for 4 posts a month (but not necessarily one a week). Other than that I don't keep a schedule. I do this because I don't want to publish half formed thoughts or minor mostly content-less topics. But I've read lots of people who say you should post on a regular schedule.
3. Should I adopt a schedule?

I write this stuff for fun mainly. But it would be more fun if it was less one sided.
4. Do you have any feedback, or is it all perfect just the way it is?


  1. I just came across your blog today, after you commented on mine. That highlights one piece of advice I've heard about improving circulation: interact with other people on their blogs.

    I'm a big fan of the semi-regular schedule. I try to post roughtly weekly, though last month was a bit of a miss.

    Oh and it would seem that you have now lost your bet on feedback ;)

  2. Thanks Jeff, I definitely lost my bet... Good thing there was no money in it.

    I'll consider going semi-regular.

  3. So i got a shout out which means i can't possible Not comment.

    I agree with jeff on the semi-regular schedule. If you look at some of the best sites those guys find a topic at least once a week.

    Admittedly RSS feeds kinda marginalize the need for that, but RSS feeds also marginalize the likelihood of getting comments.

    I would strongly consider getting more active in the random community things and pimping your blog. people do it all the time on twitter. The catch is you cant make every twitter update a "hey look i posted" you actually have to be a twitter user who occasionally advertises their site.

  4. Your comment, Josh, motivated me to add a comments link to my feed. So now you're only 1 click away from adding comments when you're reading the feed.

  5. Nice! Can you add the same link to the comments feed, so i can reply to other comments quickly?

  6. I used feedburner to add that link. So if I could "burn" the comment feed I'd be able to add it there too. As far as I can tell though, Blogger doesn't support "burning" the comment feed.

    I also couldn't find any code to use in the footer of the feed that would allow me add that link w/o feedburner. So for now I don't know a way to do it.

  7. As Scudder says, interact with other blogs is a huge way to get more comments.

    Of course ask questions, post lists, write controversial topics, etc. These all get comments too.

    btw - You have, per your stated stats, and exceptionally high comment count for the amount of readers you have.

    Most people have a hundred plus readers before they average anywhere near 1-2 comments per post.


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